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tv   Dateline London  BBC News  October 11, 2021 3:30am-4:01am BST

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in an exclusive interview, a former senior military officer in north korea's intelligence agency has told the bbc doesn't believe kim jong—un will ever give up the country's nuclear weapons. kim kuk—song, who achieved the rank of colonel in north korea's powerful spy agencies, defected to seoul in 2014. police in britain are dropping a review of sexual assault allegations by an american woman, virginia giuffre, against prince andrew. london's metropolitan police say they have completed that review and no further action will be taken. the prince has consistently denied all allegations. fully vaccinated residents in australia's most populous state, new south wales, are enjoying new freedoms is lockdown begins to be lifted. people in greater sydney have been on stay—at—home orders for three and a half months, but some social distancing measures and limits on public gatherings remain.
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now on bbc news, it is dateline in london. hello and welcome to the programme which brings together bbc specialists with the foreign correspondents who write and broadcast for audiences back home from dateline london. this week... is borisjohnson promises to rebuild britain, where there could be delays. had made in taiwan soon become made in china? and why biden�*s buddies are not doing his bidding. joining us is marc roche from belgium and has spent three decades explaining the british to the french. jef mcallister is a us—born lawyerfor american media. and with me in the studio,
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we are delighted to have bbc asia pacific editor celia hatton. it's full steam ahead for britain's post brexit economy after the covid restriction according ——recession. according to the prime minister addressing his party. borisjohnson declared himself unconcerned by staff shortages delaying, if not imperilling, the recovery. not enough lorry drivers to deliver petrol. not enough butchers to put meat on the christmas plate. mrjohnson�*s response — this isn't a government problem. employers should pay more. spiralling energy costs making things more expensive to produce could mean everyone else needs to make more money in order to stand still. marc, the adam smith institute which bears the name of a great economist who many conservatives revere and have
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done for the last couple of centuries. they said of the prime minister's speech, bombastic, but vacuous and economically illiterate. is that a fair assessment? it is economically illiterate because what he wants to do is replace a model, an economic model, based on low wages, low productivity and massive emigration, by a future model based on high wages, based on high productivity, and also limited immigration, mostly skilled. you can't do that short—term or medium—term, and there's another problem. it's a cultural problem. the young, british, unskilled workers don't want to do thejob eu immigrants were doing, that is the fruit picker or the vegetable picker, the butchers or the driver,
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and to change that you need massive investment in training, infrastructure, and the government at the moment doesn't have lots of money. so at the moment it's voodoo econometrics. we heard the prime minister say supply chain problems are temporary. i noticed on friday he appointed a new adviser. a supply chain adviser. in a sense, he has a point, doesn't he? in a properly functioning economy, if there is a shortage of labour, employers respond by improving working conditions and increasing wages. that's true. if it is properly functioning. but i think marc's point is right. this happens more over the medium and long term, not immediately. and i know we can't speak the b word, brexit. we have to blame everything on covid. but both are disruptors in the short term.
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i think everyone likes the idea of a britain that is able to pay its workers well enough to do the miserable jobs that they don't want to do, but that time is not coming any time soon. in fact, one of britain's problems for the last 50 years has been low productivity compared to its competitors, and that might be because there's so many small businesses. it doesn't appear to be because of immigration or the fact there've been a lot of poles who have been painted the same way as british people. this is a very tricky long—term problem, and the government if it's intelligent will want to put in long terms incentives, but i did a phd thesis on british productivity problems in the 1950s and thereafter, and all the problems are the same.
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low investment in training, low investment in r&d, and these take a long time to fix, and the government doesn't have the money to do the investing or the time to make it all happen within boris johnson's term. maybe it won't make any difference anyway. it might be worth you dusting off a copy and popping it in an envelope to ten downing st! it might be gratefully received. i wouldn't wish that on anybody! celia hatton. you know the old nursery rhyme about the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker. lots of businesses at sea at the moment. we head about the butchers, not enough of them. i understand scottish bakers did a survey back in the summer, 75% of their members couldn't recruit enough staff. that made me think of the candlestick maker. i spoke tojonny baker, the candlestick maker where i come from in devon,
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he said he buys soya wax, it used to take three weeks to order it and arrive, and now takes 20 weeks. as a consumer, have you been noticing this on the shelves? absolutely. we're all getting an education in global supply chains. - you go to one shop and it might be out of milk, - you go to another and it might be out of bread. i boris johnson has said - employers must begin to pay more, but from what i'm - learning it really is the poor, especially in london, | that are paying more. i spoke with one taxi driver. who said he hasn't been able to work very much because he just can't get the petrol - into his taxi to get on with hisjob. i also, in shops, when supplies run low, it's the cheapest - items that tend to run out first. richer people can reach - for the next more expensive thing on the shelf. poorer people can't. i think the poor are reallyl bearing the brunt of these patchy supply chains.
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jef, at what point does the prime minister rhetoric and the economic reality become so glaring that we start to see some kind of public reaction to it? thus far, all the opinions suggest the prime minister remains by a mile, by a country mile, of the most popular political leader. and his party is comfortably ahead in most surveys of voting intention. this is the {ga—billion question. he does have remarkable buoyancy, part of that is his personal charm, part of it is the labour party is becalmed and very confused about what it can do to make itself different from him and regain its northern seats. he also has that wonderful gift of not having to be a detail person. this is something that
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hillary clinton suffered from. she always had to be the smartest person in the room. donald trump could say, "i don't care." and people liked him for it. his rasputin and chief adviser dominic cummings, told parliament and told others that he was dreadful about covid. and that he had really screwed up the response and was responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. and people sort of shook it off. of course, over time, the barnacles attach to any government, but this government's been around for 11 or 12 years. somehow, they've been reinvented. it's a remarkable story and it will have to be a lot worse before he bears the political price. marc, is there something to be said for political leaders in what i think baldwin used
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to call masterly inactivity? well, you can't call a french president... masterly inactivity. all of them have been hyperactive. too much of it, not enough time to think. all over the place. macron i think has brought a bit more stability, he is the favourite to win the election. he has a plan to modernise france. the british are out of the europe, and germany is not the force it was in the past with the new coalition. that is to put france at the centre of europe. so, i think the french are at the moment better
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positioned than the british because they have the same strong leadership, but a vision which, of course, borisjohnson doesn't have or was incapable to describe it in the conference speech. thank you all very much. kishida, japan's new prime minister took office on monday. he's a former foreign minister. just as well, because trouble appears to be brewing the pacific. the chinese military dispatched 52 aircraft. all but four were fighters or bombers. the fourth day in succession of incursions. since it regards the island as a province of china. beijing acknowledges no issues. though, it knows full well, there is one. after six hours, diplomats agreed presidentsjoe biden and xijinping will see each other — only on zoom. it would be a lovely call to hack into! absolutely.
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they talk hours, days of negotiations and emails to get an agreement to meet face—to—face. absolutely. i think the sides have come to the point where they'vel agreed that they need | to communicate more. i'll call this a screen summit. let's take zoom out of it. it is taking place at i a really unusual time. of course they will be speaking about some of the usual things that appear over and over. trade, the technology war going on between them, i but there are also big issues on the agenda | that— aren't always discussed. we've got cop26 coming up on the horizon. - china still has not committed to sending a delegation, - but it's widely agreed that if these two - countries can't get together, it could turn the tide l for the entire summit. there's one thing. also, we have - to think of beijing.
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beijing is very - anxious right now. it's got the winter i olympics coming up. that might not be important| for many people, but beijing is very anxious about - the threat of a diplomatic boycott by the united states. the us senate has passed a bill advocating such a boycott. - it will go in front of congress. - beijing would like toi avert this if possible. also, we've got military- tensions, as you referred to. tensions over taiwan, tensions around the souith china seat, i the east china sea, both sides really guilty - of ramping up military tensions at the moment. i think this will take - place at an unusual time, but also on a screen - and in an unusual place. marc, in the wake of the row of aukus, and france's feeling of neglect, how does all this look from paris and comes back from brussels as well? the developments in the pacific region?
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well, britain is wrong because britain has nothing to give. also, unreliable country like australia of dealing with the us, which it will be a junior partner, and anyway after afghanistan completely unreliable. the obvious ally in the indo—pacific is france because it has presence, it has territory there, it has an army like the british army, it has a permanent seat on the european council. and i think as soon asjohnson mends fences with macron, it is the best. i have a suggestion for him, why doesn't he buy, because they are cheap at the moment, the submarines the australians don't want? i'm sure macron could make him a price! make a deal he couldn't
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possibly refuse. as long as they're not gas—powered i think we might be onto something. jef, with aukus, with the first ever face—to—face meeting of the four nations, they haven't actually met but they did come to washington to meetjoe biden — do you get a sense that there is finally a biden strategy emerging about china? in fits and starts. i think biden's idea in foreign policy generally and also with china and the asia—pacific is alliances matter. he is the anti—trump. he's going to try to build gradually the kind of alliances that the united states knows how to run from the cold war. and, in fairness, even during the cold war, which came out ok for the us, at the time it looked often that the russians were stronger
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and smarter and had more tools to play with countries around the world, and the americans felt very much on the defensive and the dominoes were always falling. and so, even though china appears to be making the weather these days and new ways of testing, you can understand that perhaps the americans want to fall back on this idea that with time they can build alliances that will sort of stand up. now, this is a different opponent. the chinese are embedded in the american economy in a much different way. in all the other economies, they're able to penetrate all the computer networks that the american companies and the american government to a much greater degree. they're a much more subtle opponent, in may regards. and i think with many of the allies in the pacific and potential — they had to be worried that
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while joe biden is the adult and the recognisable figure, who really knows what's going to happen with the united states? so the coherence of the western alliance, if you want to call it that, is in a very different place from what it was in those days. biden is fighting hard to make it look like he can pull it off, but only time will show how much investment he's able to put in and how it works. how unnerved do you think is fumio kishida and his colleagues by the way china is rattling everyone�*s cage around the south china sea and around those disputed islands, and for affecting on just japan but those other neighbours as well? i think fumio kishida will do what his predecessors did. i i think he will walk| a very careful path. it's notable that on his second day in office, he spoke - to president biden, . but on the fourth day,
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he spent twice as long - on the phone with xi jinping. that is, i think, really- an acknowledgement that japan has a lot of importance to place on its relationship with beijing. - and yes, of course it is- concerned about aggression across the taiwan strait. kishida has already said - he wants to put more money into coastal— security, more money into missile defence. that's also because both times he was on the phone, - he was probably thinking about north korea. - north korea is a real concern. they have tested four- missiles in the last month. and they all whiz overjapan. 0r very close. i think that's one of. the common concerns. whether he's on the phone | with washington or beijing, north korea is always in their mind as well. | just on that, marc roche, general stanley mcchrystal
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was on television and was asked would the american people back military action if china were to attack taiwan. he was very doubtful about that. do you think maybe taiwan should be looking for insurance elsewhere in case china's rhetoric turns into reality? well, europe is there, and at the moment there is a french delegation in taiwan close to president macron�*s party. the chinese were furious about it, but it went on. the eu is starting negotiations with taiwan. with some sort of agreement. so in a way, the eu is more determined to engage with taiwan than the americans. but eu is divided because on the one hand there
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are countries which emphasise human rights or the treatment of democracies and all that, and that's france and scandinavia. and on the other hand, you have countries who have very important chinese investment, like greece and to a lesser extent germany, who would be opposed to it. so in a way, again, the eu is divided, and that is the strength of china. now, some good news forjoe biden. on wednesday a texas judge blocked the new abortion law, which would make it almost impossible to acquire an abortion in the state. on thursday, the government capitulated on corporate tax rates. on other fronts, he is struggling. the media is turning on administration which promised transparency yet seems intent on insulating mr biden from being posed what is called off—topic questions.
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his recovery plan appears to be in trouble not because of republicans but because of members of congress on his own side. jef, walk us through some of these problems he's facing, particularly in congress. i think you'll have to look at his problems in three dimensions, starting closest in. yes, there are problems among his own caucus. this is inevitable because they are divided, but they're still talking, and i think they are ideologically in some ways not compatible. but of course, the bigger threat is with the republicans, and the second tier out is congress is evenly divided, 50-50. it takes only a few senators to say they won't do it. it gives them huge leverage. and some are not interested in biden's agenda and are willing to stop it. and then the third level out is really what is the republican party now?
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i mean, the last time there was a democratic president, under obama, mitch mcconnell said his job was to make him a failed president. and he's doing it again. he means to slow everything down and gum it up and make things unpleasant so that in the midterm elections, the democrats look like they're not getting anything done. and then there's this backdrop of donald trump and the republican party, who believe joe biden is not the legitimate president of the united states. i think trump is running again. it's a much tougher environment to get anything done, and biden is playing by the rules that he has to play by, which is old—fashioned horse—trading in washington, to get anything done. i think his assumption was if he could get these big packages done, there would be a recovery from covid, there would be money flowing into the economy, things would look better, happy days are here again and the democrats would be ok in the midterms and there could be a platform
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to win again. but it's looking sour. of course the economy is not in terrible shape. things are getting better. there are some good signs. but the mood music and the obstructionism of a republican party that is not ronald reagan's republican party means it's quite perilous for any democratic president, and i actually am very concerned not just aboutjoe biden but about the future of the country if this is the nature of what republicans have become. celia, just on some of those other issues that have flared up, we have those terrible images of haitian people being beaten with whips from the border by us immigration forces. i mean, how does that kind of thing go down? in countries like for example canada, where there have certain expectations about what a biden administration would be. biden's message during the campaign on immigration was very different to donald trump's. it's fascinating to watch i this debate from canada.
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i read a lot of canadian- newspapers, and of course those scenes were described as abhorrent. - but there have been a lot of people who come out. of haitian communities - in canada to say, how dare you, canadian government? when there was a huge - earthquake in haiti in august, the canadian - government said they stood ready — _ let us know how we can help. and some of the haitian- immigrant communities have said. — why don't you let some more refugees in? that would be a good way to start. - in 2017, there was a huge wave of asylum—seekers who came l from the united states- who were haitian into canada to try to claim refugee status, and canada has quietly been. sending many of those people home. - two out of three applications on average are rejected, - and so yes, of course - those scenes have been... there's been no repetitionl of them in canada, but that doesn-t— mean other governments are really doing - much to help haiti. i suppose one issue is with the left wing ofjoe biden's own party.
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who might also say given whatjef was saying there, actually, why waste time trying to engage with republicans? it didn't work for obama, it isn't going to work for you. well, you know, at the moment of course, that's the situation. but we knowjoe biden has succeeded in one area, which has not been mentioned. it's the tax on corporation multinationals. the prodigal son of ireland has forced, at last, the irish to accept 15% of tax instead of 12.5%, while the oecd and the eu failed for years to do that. i think it shows that joe biden has some leverage, at least in ireland, and it's welcome, because we do not need to have all these tax havens all over the place. the only caveat, of course, is thatjoe biden represents
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delaware, which is the biggest tax haven in the us. but he does a good job in ireland. laughter. marc roche, jef mcallister, celia hatton, thank you very much. that's dateline london. back at the same time next week. from all of us on the programme, goodbye. hello. last week brought us some heavy rain followed by some particularly warm weather. the week ahead, well, things will be much drier, rain mainly confined to the north of scotland, but it will be also cooler. temperatures will actually be around average but there will be incursions of chilly air towards the north and east at times, all running around the eastern edge of an area
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of high pressure which will dominate through this week. that's what's happening into monday, but we're on the edge of it, so we're going to have a rather chilly start — certainly compared with the morning commutes we saw at the end of last week. much cooler out there — temperatures down into mid—single figures as we start the day. but there'll be a lot of dry weather to begin with for england, wales, northern ireland. a bit of patchy mist and fog with some good sunny spells. the sunshine will be a bit hazy, and that's because we've got a weather front pushing in, mainly across the north and west of scotland, where the rain will be persistent in the highlands and the western isles. some of that rain willjust extend erratically to parts of southern scotland, maybe the far north—east of england, but most places away from the north will stay dry. still breezy, but not as breezy as it has been across northern scotland. lerwick in the colder air at nine degrees. still pleasantly warm with the heavy sunshine further south, up to around 16 or 17, a degree or so above where we should be for this stage in october. as we go into monday night that weather front is still there,
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bringing rain and drizzle across parts of scotland, also down across some eastern parts of england. but it does mean more cloud around. temperatures shouldn't drop too much, and there'll be clear skies in the south. some mist and fog and a chilly start to tuesday. we could also see some aurora hopefully on monday night, but cloud amounts will be crucial. that's because we do have that weather front draped in across the eastern edge of our high—pressure system for tuesday. the exact position could change a little bit, but certainly across parts of scotland, maybe into the north and east of england, the chance of some light rain and drizzle. on the eastern edge of it, we'll drag in some colder air. temperatures around ten to 12 degrees eastern scotland and parts of eastern england, whereas to the west of that weather front 18 degrees possible with some sunshine breaking through the cloud. a bit more sunshine and dry on wednesday. more of a westerly drift, so those eastern areas should warm up a little bit once again, back into the mid—teens. only a few showers across the far north and north—west of scotland. but as we going to thursday, heavy rain pushes its way southwards across scotland. that's going to bring some colder conditions into the north as we go through the latter stage of the week and potentially some overnight frost. further south it does get colder, but it stays dry.
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hello, welcome to bbc news. i'm ben boulos. our top stories: inside the world of kim jong—un, a former north korean spy tells us pyongyang will never give up its weapons. translation: in the end, denuclearisation cannot be achieved. why? north korea's nuclear deterrent is tied to kim jong—un�*s survival. british police are dropping a review of sexual assault allegations by an american woman, virginia giuffre, against prince andrew. the spy who fed me. the fbi says it has uncovered a plot to sell a national secret concealed in a sandwich. it looks just like the red
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